GAYLORD, Mich. (WLNS) – Governor Gretchen Whitmer is calling on the Biden administration to declare a major disaster for Ostego County after an EF-3 tornado tore through Gaylord and surrounding areas, destroying property, killing two people and injuring over 40 others.

“We are doing everything in our power to secure all available assistance for the people of Gaylord as quickly as possible,” said Governor Whitmer in a statement. “A presidential declaration would open up additional federal resources necessary to help the Gaylord community recover. Tough times call for tough people, and I know that the Michiganders in Gaylord will get through this. Let’s keep working together to support all of the ongoing efforts to recover and rebuild.”  

Whitmer has requested for federal aid in the form of Individual Assistance to help residents gain temporary housing, home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and more.

“As the tornado broke down buildings in Otsego County, it uprooted families from their homes, disrupted livelihoods of workers at damaged businesses, and, saddest of all, took two lives,” said State Representative Ken Borton, (R-Gaylord.) “The destruction was awful. I’ve been working closely with others in our community, and we appreciate the support from Governor Whitmer’s administration. A major disaster declaration from the federal government will help us rebuild Gaylord.” 

Whitmer’s request will be reviewed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which will then suggest to the President if a disaster declaration is needed.

However, Biden makes the final choice on sending federal aid.